Category Archives: me doing it

First they came for the desks, and nobody said NUFFINK

What’s the DEFINING FEATURE of a bureaucrat?They have a bureau! Or rather, a desk, cos we’re not French and thanks to Brexit no longer have to follow EU regulations on what we call our desks. The bureaucrat has a desk. … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, me doing it, purpose, systems thinking | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

What writing this blog taught me about pull

There’s always been a strong tang of resigned self pity running through this blog, like the reek of faeces in a brace of grilled andouillettes. This post however should truly please the connoisseur of bleak despair. Read on, and enjoy … Continue reading

Posted in change, command and control, me doing it, public sector, systems thinking | Tagged , ,

10 years a Policy Officer

This is my desk. I have sat in this, and others like it, for exactly 10 years in this organisation. My decade anniversary is today. In 2004 in the interview for this job I had to give a presentation answering “What … Continue reading

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25 things (that just might work) about measuring the right thing

I’ve concocted 25 suggestions, questions, hints and tips for a colleague policy officer who has seen the systemsy light yet still faces the task that everybody else hasn’t. Here they are. One just might work. All might be complete duff. No … Continue reading

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7 ways to do the Vanguard Method all wrong

Read this first. It was very popular and there’s marbles in it. If you’re too lazy here’s a summary: I went to the executive leadership team, I talked to them about something that started with studying demand and eventually led to huge … Continue reading

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How to break the first rule of systems thinking

The problem with having to go into a room to speak about systems thinking is The First Rule. You know, the first rule… 3 months ago I had to go into the senior leadership team meeting to say what had … Continue reading

Posted in communication, me doing it, systems thinking in housing benefits, vanguard method | Tagged , | 31 Comments

Kanban dos and don’ts

An Infographic I did for my team when we introduced a kanban for team work. Not necessarily correctly, or usefully, but there it is anyway blocking my view out the window. Any mistakes or errors of understanding or communication, all … Continue reading

Posted in knowledge, me doing it, tools | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

My Red Beads Experiment (part1)

Remember this? These are the jars that a man is using to count out the rest of his days using beads. I thought I’d like to do something with coloured beads and jars to measure the value of what I … Continue reading

Posted in customer, experiment, me doing it, purpose, systems thinking | Tagged , | 1 Comment

What colour is my work?

Here are coloured beads in 2 jars. A man (a slightly famous games designer in his 60s) every day takes a bead from the right jar and pops it into the jar on the left. Each bead represents a day. … Continue reading

Posted in customer, me doing it, purpose, systems thinking | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

How to get it

Has she got it? Well, has she? This is what I’ve heard people ask, if someone has got it or not. Meaning systems thinking. Of course. It’s not like getting the measles, I know that, but I’ve been puzzled for … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, learning, me doing it, systems thinking in housing benefits, thinking, vanguard method | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

How to start a library of dead ideas

A great big Nazi bomb couldn’t scare these gents off their knowledge. But you wouldn’t need a bomb in most organisations. Not because people don’t like knowledge, but because you need a memory to have knowledge.  Memory and knowledge aren’t about memorising lists of facts, like … Continue reading

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Why listening beats questions 6 ways to Sunday

Q: What is the difference between asking questions and listening? A: One isn’t the same as the other, and neither is both. Yesterday I was taking my turn, as a good natured Policy Officer, asking staff about the draft council … Continue reading

Posted in me doing it, questions, thinking | Tagged , | 1 Comment

A cheap notebook

This notebook could save your bacon Here’s why [link] Daniel Kahneman was asked how we can improve our performance. Kahneman, the author of Thinking: Fast and Slow, replied, almost without hesitation, that you should go down to the local drugstore … Continue reading

Posted in learning, me doing it, plans, public sector, systems thinking | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Drip..drip…drip

“Just rang for a taxi – had an automated system in saying do you want to be picked up from X. Which I did so pressed 1….20 mins later no taxi so I rang them. Woman says ‘did you use … Continue reading

Posted in Demand, learning, me doing it, psychology, very short posts | Tagged | Leave a comment

Enter Kanban

Now scroll down. All the way down here please. Almost there. 5. 4 3 2 1 About here will do. Now, list as many of those objects as you can. After you’ve done that scroll down. More please. More than … Continue reading

Posted in me doing it, plans, public sector, tools | Tagged | 8 Comments

The day I became a Policy Officer

When/if I do get the chance to start doing something systemsy, I’ll come back here and type about it. Ideally that would be next week but I doubt it as it has been almost two years since I’ve had a … Continue reading

Posted in communication, me doing it, public sector | Tagged | 10 Comments

Poof goes the purpose

“When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything.” G.K. Chesterton Anything goes when purpose isn’t there to tie everyone to reality. There’s no fad too superficial, no gimmick too glib, no novelty … Continue reading

Posted in clarity of purpose, communication, me doing it, systems thinking | Tagged | 15 Comments

Slug trails

I say, I say, I say, what is short, pointy and smaller than a banana? The words on that index card. I have to produce a performance report for my organisation every quarter. We send out a large official looking … Continue reading

Posted in communication, me doing it, psychology | Tagged | 1 Comment

The Policy Officer’s Creed

This my pen, there are many like it but this one is mine. My pen is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My pen, without me, is useless. Without … Continue reading

Posted in me doing it, public sector, purpose, systems thinking | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

ROLL UP! ROLL UP! Get your untested management assumptions here! People don’t like to think they’ve been made fools of. So they don’t think they’ve been made fools of, even when they have. And especially if they made fools of … Continue reading

Posted in change, learning, me doing it, public sector, systems thinking, thinking | Tagged , | 2 Comments

101 tactics for revolutionaries

You say you want a revolution, well you know we all want to change the world. John Lennon sang that, now I’m writing this. 101 tactics for low level, cubicle-dwelling systems thinkers. You’ve had the strategy, now here are your … Continue reading

Posted in change, learning, me doing it, systems thinking | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Why the world isn’t a triangle (and what happens when we act like it is)

I started talking about systems thinking at work, and elicited interest. This is of course good, but I was asked to write something up on different management models. So I decided to do a cartoon instead. This is it, attached. … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, me doing it, public sector, systems thinking, systemz comix, vanguard method | Tagged , | 7 Comments

I am Spartacus! And so’s my wife!

This year I came out. Lots of people knew I was that way inclined and in front of them I didn’t have to hide, but I wasn’t totally out. To some people I pretended and in some circumstances I pretended. There was … Continue reading

Posted in change, learning, me doing it, systems thinking | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Today’s to-do list

Is complete. By asking people about purpose, “what matters” and what is the problem we are really trying to solve. Short words, but powerful in the correct order. More powerful than this too… A large hammer. I asked for a … Continue reading

Posted in communication, me doing it, purpose, systems thinking, very short posts | Tagged , | 1 Comment

How to make a pig fatter (part 2 of 2)

The best customer feedback I’ve ever seen. And nobody asked them for it. Customers were so delighted at their re-designed service they spontaneously said these words. But before all this, before the thinking changed the service, this was how we … Continue reading

Posted in customer, knowledge, me doing it, systems thinking, systems thinking in housing benefits | Tagged | 1 Comment

4 steps to win PLUS free Gandhiometer

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” -Gandhi* Ignore If all you’ve got as leverage is anecdote or theory then this is all that going to happen. What would you do? Pay attention to … Continue reading

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I’m with stupid

“Think of how stupid the average person is… …and realize half of them are stupider than that.” George Carlin Some stupid stuff I done did Drinking from a Deming mug, with quotes on, for years. In meetings I would strategically … Continue reading

Posted in human brains are weird, me doing it, systems thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

I am Spartacus! And so’s my wife!

Arrgh! I buggered up, the real post is here https://thinkpurpose.com/2013/02/06/i-am-spartacus-and-sos-my-wife-2/    

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Systems thinking in Benefits-listening to demand (part 2)

Arguing is a good sign. Arguing is a good sign that people are engaging with listening to demand and are having to think through what they are there for. As described in the previous post, after each intial demand listening … Continue reading

Posted in Check, Demand, me doing it, systems thinking in housing benefits | 3 Comments

Systems thinking in Benefits-listening to demand (part 1)

Listening to demand is exciting. Really powerful and enjoyable. I loved sitting behind a reception desk listening and watching a young lad proudly show me how he had arranged his files and leaflets, and how he deals with different people … Continue reading

Posted in Check, Demand, me doing it, systems thinking in housing benefits, vanguard method | 5 Comments

51 things I have learned doing Systems Thinking in Benefits so far.

Listening to demand is exciting, enjoyable and worthwhile I thought I knew about Systems Thinking, turned out I had just memorised content from books. People like looking at control charts You don’t need to follow good design when putting data … Continue reading

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“The more i practice the luckier I get”

– I was first contacted by Benefits because they were finding out what systems thinking, lean etc was, and they saw my name all over message boards on the IDEA, and noticed I worked in the same building. -a stream … Continue reading

Posted in me doing it, systems thinking in housing benefits, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Systems thinking in Benefits-before

I have worked at a local authority for several years in performance management, the authority has no background in systems thinking and as far as I am aware no-one else there was interested.  I spent my time consistently boring people … Continue reading

Posted in me doing it, systems thinking in housing benefits, vanguard method | Tagged , , | 1 Comment